Dolly Parton Says Seeing ‘Coat of Many Colors’ Centerpiece at Dollywood Made Her ‘Real Emotional’

Dolly Parton recently sat down with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts. Holding the interview at her Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, the music icon spoke of how she and the staff of the Pigeon Forge property are more of a family than co-workers. Parton also treated viewers with a trademark song that details her childhood, and announced a centerpiece that pays tribute to her mother.

Dolly Parton speaks at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards
Dolly Parton | Getty Images/Getty Images for ACM

Dolly Parton takes pride in her Dollywood team

Speaking with Roberts about the past year with the changes that needed to be implemented at Dollywood due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Parton praised her theme park team for ensuring safety guidelines were followed.

“I think it’s amazing how our crew has done all the things they’ve done,” Parton told Roberts on Good Morning America. “Last year, we, of course, like everybody else, we were open on a limited basis. But everybody was so great to practice the safety rules and all that.”

Sharing that the theme park is now in its 36th season, the 9 to 5 star considers the staff at Dollywood as much more than co-workers or employees.

“The people here are like family,” Parton remarked. “Anytime you have a crisis of any kind, you just kind of pull together and get it done. People always brag about the staff here at Dollywood. … We’re partners. That’s the way I am with my band. We’re just all partners here. It takes us all to make it work.”

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Dollywood presents a ‘Coat of Many Colors’ centerpiece

Parton noted how nationwide restrictions are starting to lift thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, and how she’s looking forward to a time of revitalization.

“We’re not out of it yet, but I can feel a new energy,” she shared. “It’s exciting to see all the new things we’ve got. … We’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for.”

The multi-Grammy winner is unveiling a major centerpiece in Dollywood. Made up of a host of flowers, the floral sculpture represents Parton’s late mother, Avie Lee, sewing together a “Coat of Many Colors”, giving a nod to the country star’s iconic 1971 song. The flower theme is present throughout the entire park.

“It’s kind of like the Rose Parade,” Parton raved. “All those little colors are made out of little flowers. And it’s just millions of flowers all over this park. It’s amazing how they can do all that. It takes a lot of time.”

Dolly Parton got ’emotional’ seeing the floral tribute to her mom

Though she had seen brochures of the main floral sculpture, Parton was deeply moved when she viewed the massive flower arrangement in person.

“I was real emotional and took a lot of pictures,” Parton said upon seeing the “Coat of Many Colors” centerpiece. “Just having that big thing there that represents who I am as a person, who my parents were, and the kind of mother I was lucky enough to have.”

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Parton performed the legendary song on Good Morning America, and reflected on how symbolic the lyrics are of her life.

“That little coat has carried me so far, it’s kind of like a little signature thing,” she said. “My life has been a life of many colors, not just the coat. It’s very significant to me, but just seeing that whole thing with mom sewing that just made me grateful.”